A week ago, we wrote that the project for the construction of an autodrome in the green zone of Rio de Janeiro provokes protests from local residents and environmentalists. Before the Eifel Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton also said that he was against the transfer of the Brazilian stage to Rio, if for this it was necessary to cut down the forest.
“I have heard that the race will be economically viable, but for me the most justified decision is not to cut trees, especially in a situation where the forest area is rapidly decreasing around the world. I do not know all the reasons why they want to hold a race in Rio, but I do not support this initiative, ”the six-time world champion said then.
The concern of environmentalists is fully justified, because on an area of 200 hectares in Kamboata, a suburb of Rio, there is a forest preserved in its original form, where 21 species of rare tropical fauna live.
However, an environmental examination commissioned by Rio Motorpark, which is engaged in a project for the future autodrome, confirmed the presence of only nine of these species, and only later another rare species of fish was included in this list under pressure from environmentalists.
In addition, the authors of the examination pointed out the impossibility of transferring the construction of the route to any other section, although four alternative options were proposed. Subsequently, it turned out that they had not even visited other sites.
According to the Rio de Janeiro city prosecutor’s office, the construction of the autodrome is contrary to the 2006 law on the protection of Brazilian Atlantic forests, and Rio Motorpark did not provide convincing evidence that there was no other option but to build it on the site of a felled forest.
Also, prosecutor Gisela Pekueno drew attention to the fact that the environmental impact assessment commissioned by Rio Motorpark cannot be considered detailed, and the approach of its authors is consistent.
The Rio Motorpark case is already being dealt with by the Brazilian federal prosecutor’s office, where they believe that the sources of funding for the project raise certain doubts.
In response, Rio Motorsport issued an official statement in which they promise that during the construction of the track, about 3 thousand jobs will be created, and when the circuit starts to host Formula 1 races, this will indirectly give jobs to seven thousand local residents, and the region’s economy will receive considerable benefit.
The statement also reads the following: “The information on environmental damage in connection with this project is not true, as it is planned to implement an extensive program that provides for compensation measures, including replanting trees and saving rare species.
Investments in the project are carried out by attracting international funds and major sponsors interested in promoting Formula 1 ”.
According to the British newspaper Guardian, which writes about the confrontation between Rio Motorsport and opponents of the project, some local residents are still ready to vote for it in the hope of a positive effect promised to the economy.